There is a possibility that before the end of the year, we will be placed under restrictions once again. This would be another chance to stop the spread of COVID-19. My family is already preparing because we know we have the responsibility to do our part. I live with high-risk people, and though I am not scared, I know my family is.
Right now, New England is not only about to hit a second wave of the pandemic, but we are getting to our darkest and coldest time of year. This doesn’t help our mood. We become mean, grumpy, and now we have to stay away from our friends and extended family. None of it bodes well for mental health or happiness.
However, research has shown the links between the food we eat and our moods. Our bodies are connected from mind to gut and more. The things we eat and consume really do affect us. Right now may be difficult, but eating specific foods may increase positive thoughts even when things seem dull.
Food Mood Boosters
Kimchi or Kombucha
What do these two things have in common? Fermentation! There is a chance that this process can improve gut health, which may also help boost your mood. During fermentation, probiotics are created; they are live microorganisms that promote serotonin levels throughout your body.
So it really does help make those happy chemicals we want in our bodies during the winter!
If kimchi and kombucha aren’t your favorites, you can opt for other things like yogurt or sauerkraut. Anything fermented will go through the same process and allow you to reap the benefits.
Beans or Lentils
It is coming to the point where it is freezing outside, and you may want something to warm up with. Lentil soup can be one of the best ways to warm up and boost your mood. You might be wondering how lentils can improve your mood? They’re full of nutrients that will make your body happy.
Both beans and lentils have a lot of B vitamins naturally found in them. These vitamins can help boost serotonin and dopamine levels throughout your body. On top of those, it can help regulate norepinephrine and gamma-aminobutyric acid; both of those chemicals in your body help play a huge role in your mood.
If you choose to eat fish, you will want to make sure it is fatty fish. You can choose something like salmon, mackerel, or even albacore. All of these are rich with Omega-3s that have been linked to lowering levels of depression.
Stay on top of your mood by adding fish to your dinners a few times a week. If you want something a little fun and eccentric, you can make a salmon omelet. Keep in mind there have been mixed results on whether or not salmon’s nutrients affect mood.
These make a great quick snack but are also rich in nutrients that may improve your mood. There is a ton of natural sugar in bananas and fiber; these two things work well together. When sugar and fiber combine, they allow that sugar to be released slowly throughout the day, keeping your energy stable. It will not give you a sugar crash like a bar of chocolate.
On top of that, each banana is jam-packed full of vitamin B6, which helps release your body’s natural dopamine and boost your serotonin level. This is a serious winner in my book.
Naturally Boost Your Mood This Winter
I know nobody wants to think about our uncertain future or what will happen, but finding ways to improve mental health and happiness will be crucial these next few years. We have no idea what will happen, and finding small ways that give us the chance to improve our mood will be essential. Let’s eat healthy together this winter.